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Deer Hunting Basics - Finding a place to hunt

        There is very little public hunting land in Texas.    Texas National Forests  in east Texas and some public   National Grasslands scattered about are the only free hunting available. 

    Most hunters lease land from farmers and ranchers. These are usually season leases that cover from the start of dove season ( traditionally Sept. 1 ) through the end of the deer season ( deer season calendar ) Leases run from $500 and up depending on the amount and quality of land, game resources, proximity to metropolitan areas, and number of guns ( hunters ) on the property. Unless you pay a lot more, you'll be sharing the property with people you don't know carrying high powered  rifles. Gosh, hunting in Texas is a challenge and adventure even before you buy ammo.

    The time to start looking for a lease is July. Start in your local newspapers. The web has a few services that list leases (including TSJ lease links)  

    Call the listings  in your price range,  arrange to meet them on the property and take a look around.  Water on the property is a good place to start. Look for deer tracks at the watering holes. A combination of fields with deer friendly foods like oats and cover for them to hide in during the day is considered ideal.

    Just because you don't find any sign doesn't mean there are no deer on the lease, but they may be few and far between.

    A signed agreement between you and the landowner is a good thing. Our legal department is scouring the files looking for a generic lease agreement that we will publish here for you to print and use ( as soon as they find it ).

    Basic questions to ask?

    God bless you if you find a good lease at a reasonable price and a landowner that isn't a $@$%^&!!!.

     You've got to understand the landowner's point of view. That bunch of idiots he leased to last year who got drunk, left open the gates, and shot two cows have left him with a less than favorable impression of sportsmen.

    Act  responsibly and with pride when you hunt! The 1% who don't make it hard on the majority of responsible hunters and gun owners.

Like to add something to this article? Thoughts of your own about this subject?  Think  I'm  full of  it?  Send  comments  and  contributions  to: basics@texas-hunt-fish-camp.com     

Reader Comments:   

January 8, 2000

    There is a lot of public hunting land in Texas, go buy a type ll hunting permit at Wal-Mart for $40 and you will receive a book in the mail and will be amazed on how much land their is for public use. But I'm still looking for a lease and so far no luck finding what we can afford.

Richard: Mesquite, Texas

    The 99 season was the first season I actually hunted, but the third year I have spent $ 40 on the Type II Permit. The first year I just scouted one time and didn't go back because I couldn't get any of my friends to go. The second year I got two of my friends to go opening weekend. We got to the place at about 11pm Friday night, and had never seen the  place before. We decided after plenty of beers we should sleep in for our safety and keep from ruining someone elses' better planned hunt . When we rolled out of bed around the crack of noon, a couple of campsites down from us a
guy shot a very nice 10 point about 20 or so inch spread . He slept in till it was about 30 min. after sunup , and was only in the woods for 5 min. walking to his stand, a doe walked in front of him , he kneeled down and that buck walked out . The third year my dad and I scouted this different place, and really got serious about hunting type II, the second weekend of the season we got to the place real late at night so we slept in till 7:30, got out of our tent, and this guy got out of his truck and said we were getting a late start he already got his buck. We went and took a look at it , it was a 9 point big as that 10 point . I'm just guessing but probably around 120-140 class but that is just a rough guess. I'm planning on hunting type II for a couple more years unless I stumble across a good deal on a lease, but we know that is something you only hear about. Any way here is some information on type II, There is approx.1,400,000 acres . As far as I know this is not parks , some of the places are just for dove and small game but most is all game, still over 1,000,000 acres . Most places don't require drawings , BUT there is a lot of them bow hunt only,  that cuts the traffic down a lot. In the back of the book you can look up the unit # and it will tell you how many hunters , number of animals harvested, number of days hunted , etc. Hunting type II you really need to spend a lot of book time to decide where to hunt and then finding that spot no one else has found.  I  have found that you can't have to many places picked out just in case someone is parked in the area and don't feel like walking in on them . A tree climbing stand is a good idea although I haven't invested in one yet . I sat on the ground and had 2 deer walk 10-20 yards behind me. Also something else I just saw in a magazine was how you can hunt on Fort Hood in Killeen . I wonder how many other military bases offer hunts. 
                                                                             
                           
Richard: Mesquite, Texas

Texas Parks & Wildlife Public Hunting

Like to add something to this article? Thoughts of your own about this subject?  Think  I'm  full of  it?  Send  comments  and  contributions  to: basics@texas-hunt-fish-camp.com     

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